Whale Entanglement at Burleigh Heads
Tuesday 17th of May, 7:00am: While filming some additional B-roll for the documentary, our team discovered a whale calf badly entangled in the shark nets off Burleigh Heads. We immediately notified the Sea World Rescue Team to initiate a rescue.
Very quickly, news crews were on the scene, capturing the incident unfold. That's when things stopped. By 9:00am the Sea World team was ready, but the Queensland Fisheries Department was unavailable to approve the rescue. By 9.30 am, there was still no rescue team, and the whale was getting visibly exhausted. Luckily, a local hero named Django happened passed the whale and immediately jumped in to free it.
In the media whirlwind of the heroic rescue, it's easy to forget the hours before that moment. A sentient struggling for life. Struggling to breathe and wasting valuable energy. It had been 3 hours since we spotted the whale, but it is impossible to tell how long it had been there.
These nets are ludicrous. They have to go, and we will make sure they do. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week, but they will go. Please keep supporting this cause, and together we will be the catalyst to enact change.
Now for a big thanks to all the people involved last week in chronological order...
James Kable, our drone pilot for initially spotting the whale and letting us know
Reese Lowe for facilitating the required responses.
Scott Wilson who jumped out of bed and rushed us some extra drone batteries and also flew for us at points when we were busy with media.
Holly Richmond for coming and helping with some speedy file distribution to the media, and Blaze Parson for getting his drone up when we needed a battery change.
A second thanks to Scott and Holly for doing interviews when needed and calling out this archaic program.
Bianca Stone from Channel 7 Sunrise who left her first live-cross location, to come and cover this on a moment's notice.
Sean Lawson, our PR manager who facilitated the epic national coverage of the event.
All the other media outlets (Sky, 9, 10, ABC) who came and covered it.
Last but most certainly not least, the man of the moment: DJANGO! The Tinny Man, for getting in there and doing what had to be done!